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A closer look at the Spoon Customs-WyndyMilla merger

Joe Delves
25 Feb 2020

As the steel and carbon experts join forces, we talk to Andy Carr from Spoon Customs about what the future holds for both brands

Two of the UK's leading custom bike manufacturers, WyndyMilla, based in Surrey, and Spoon Customs, based in Sussex, have merged. Between them, the two made-to-measure specialists should have the southeast’s custom market sewn-up, with WyndyMilla already well-known for carbon and Spoon famous for steel. 

The move has been led by Spoon founder Andy Carr.

Despite its office being located in Brighton, Spoon actually produces its bikes in Italy and maintains a base in the Alps near the Col d'Izoard. However, the machines it sells to UK customers are finished in the UK.

For Carr, the catalyst for the idea of the two outfits joining forces came on a trip back to the UK to arrange to have some of his machines painted. 'When I came back from the mountains, I went to see Dan at Cole Coatings who’d previously done all our painting,' Carr explains.

'I’d been in the Alps for a couple of years and by the time I’d got back, all the top builders wanted him. So unsurprisingly he was really busy and had a long waiting list. He offered to help, but I realised I needed more control over turnaround.'  

A meeting with Sam Weeks who was heading WyndyMilla’s paintworks provided a possible solution. 

'They had capacity in between their own brand work. Sam cut his teeth painting custom Harley Davidsons, so he was used to working to high expectations and he loves finishing bikes'.

Switching from paint to bikes, the relationship developed from there. The timing was fortuitous too. After ten years with WyndyMilla, its founders Henry Furniss and Nasima Siddiqui were keen to try something new.

Brand takeover

The arranged merger sees Carr takes over the role of effective WyndyMilla CEO from Chris Houghton, who remains with the business as a non-executive director. Outside of the informal boardroom, existing designer and fitter David Page will provide a degree of continuity for the customer.

Responsible for WyndyMilla's SL and Massive Attack disc models, plus pretty much every bike that’s left the shop since he started, he’ll continue to lead on carbon design. At the same time, he’ll also start collaborating with Carr on the design and fabrication of Spoon’s customs builds too.

'If the first decade for WyndyMilla was about growing the brand and finding its feet in design and production of performance bikes, I want the next one to be where the bikes and brands really find their market and grow sustainably from the foundations Henry and Nasima have laid,' says Carr.

While the merger won’t see either name disappear, the parent company name will change to Spoon. At the same time, the shared painting workshop will expand to attract more trade and private clients.

Two heads are better than one

It’s part of a strategy that aims to strengthen the position of both brands in a sometimes precarious market.

'Starting up isn’t easy and we all suffer the same vulnerabilities,' says Carr. 'Then again I’ve been bootstrapping Spoon for nearly five years, and WyndyMilla has a decade of hard work behind it.

'Together we’re lean and have sober plans for steady growth after a record year of sales last year. If we avoid complacency and keep doing things the right way, we can make headlines about the exceptional bikes. We need to walk before we can run, manage risk, and make sure every bike is perfect. If we do that, I think we’ll continue to find fans.'

This summer Wyndymilla is planning to further the aerodynamic integration on its Massive Attack, while Spoon will continue promoting its popular Izoard RR frame builds.

'We’re proud of what we’ve built over the last ten years, through hard work and a commitment to doing things differently,' explains departing WyndyMilla founder Henry Furniss.

'We created a much-loved brand run by a highly capable, technically proficient team of passionate cyclists who have together produced some of the most exciting custom carbon bicycles available anywhere in the world. As Nasima and I move on to new challenges, we look forward to seeing what the combined brand and technical expertise of Spoon Customs and WyndyMilla can do.'

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